COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program Protocol for Students
Fort Valley State University is facilitating a COVID-19 surveillance testing program for undergraduate students in the Wildcat and Ohio residence halls. This is part of the university’s multi-pronged strategy to mitigate and monitor the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of this testing program is to allow the university to monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response.
A surveillance testing program means that random samples of students will be selected and tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. This allows the university to make inferences about the level of spread in the student population and identify asymptomatic cases for isolation.
The university will test a randomly assigned sample of 5% of students on each floor of the residence halls each week. Approximately 59 undergraduate students each week will be asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test.
Every Thursday the list of students to be tested will be provided to the testing team to ensure that testing kits are available to meet the needs for the following week. Selection of the students to be tested will be provided by the Student Affairs Office.
Testing will be conducted at the Student Health Services office in the Hunt Wellness Center, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. This will allow time for packing the test kits for shipment.
Students selected for testing will be notified via their university email to schedule a time for the test, along with detailed scheduling instructions as well as instructions for taking the test.
This is a required program. Failure to respond and schedule a test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to university spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in this university-mandated testing.
Testing typically takes 10-30 minutes. If you have a disability and have difficulty standing for up to 30 minutes, you can request a chair. Please let the person know at the check-in desk. Contact Student Life Disability Services for further questions.
Surveillance Testing Program FAQs
Can I opt-out of testing?
There are a few reasons why students may be able to opt-out of testing:
- They have a disability that would physically preclude them from having the test done.
- They prefer to be tested by another source within a week, before or after, their assigned time. FVSU will not reimburse for testing done at alternative facilities. Students must share the results with the Student Health Services office.
- They are currently sick and unable to get to the testing facility.
- They have a sincerely held religious belief.
- They have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
To complete an exemption form, please request the form from the Emergency Management Office or the Office of Student Affairs. Once you have received the form you will have 48 hours to return the form along with any documentation supporting your request. The completed form along with attached documents needs to be emailed to Nurse Conswalis Northcutt at Conswalis.Northcutt@fvsu.edu.
Is testing required?
This is a required program. Failure to respond and schedule a test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to university spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in the testing.
Who will be eligible to be assigned for testing?
All undergraduate students who are enrolled in courses, regardless of course delivery method, who reside in any of the university resident halls.
Can students volunteer for the testing protocol?
No, to get the full efficacy of the surveillance program, we must proceed with a true random sampling process.
How will students be selected?
Random samples will be pulled on a weekly basis. Students will be contacted directly to schedule their testing appointment.
How will students be notified?
On Wednesdays, students will be notified via their university email account that they have been selected for testing the following week. The message will include instructions for scheduling testing, as well as contact information for Student Health Services if they have questions.
What happens if a student needs to reschedule their assigned testing time?
Students are able to reschedule their appointment by sending an email to Nurse Conswalis Northcutt at Conswalis.Northcutt@fvsu.edu They should explain why they will need to reschedule the test.
What are the consequences if a student does not have a qualified reason for opting out and does not participate in the testing program?
If a student does not show up for their initial testing appointment and/or reschedule their assigned testing date, they will be contacted by Student Health Services via email to reschedule for the following week The student can reply to the email or call the Student Health Services office at 478-827-3262 to set up their test.
If a student fails to either show up for their second scheduled testing appointment and/or respond to a request to reschedule their initial appointment within five business days, they will receive a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed. FVSU ID access to non-residential spaces will be shut off and a report will be made to Student Conduct for non-compliance.
What if a student has documentation that they have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies or have previously tested positive for COVID-19?
If they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they may submit an exemption form that can be requested from Nurse Conswalis Northcutt at Conswalis.Northcutt@fvsu.edu.
Please note the following:
Lab documentation noting positive test results of a PCR test will be accepted. 90 days after the negative test results, you will be added back into the university’s testing program.
Lab documentation of negative PCR testing within a week of required surveillance testing. If new symptoms have developed since the test results, the test should be repeated. Asymptomatic and negative individuals will go back into the pool for random selection and students living in university contracted housing will complete weekly testing.
Not all COVID testing is accepted. For example, antibody testing is not accepted.
What if a student needs assistance getting to the testing site?
University transportation options are available to students.